THE number of confessed drug traffickers and users in Mimaropa region who have surrendered to the Police Regional Office 4-B as a result of its implementation of the Philippine National Police Oplan: Tokhang since last July 1 is now nearing the 20,000 mark with more expected to yield in the wake of the local police’s stepped-up campaign, PRO4-B director, Chief Superintendent Wilben M. Mayor, said yesterday.
In its 16th week of implementation, Mayor said that the number of Oplan: Tokhang surrenderers have reached 19,724 last week from 19,169. This after the surrender of 105 more confessed drug personalities composed of 88 users and 17 drug dealers.
Two weeks ago, 467 persons, 286 of them confessed shabu and marijuana users while 181 are confessed drug dealers also surrendered to the PRO4-B.
In a report to Philippine National Police chief, Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa, Mayor said over 340 wanted drug personalities in the region have been arrested as a result of buy-bust operations, service of search warrant and police responses.
Latest to be arrested by PRO4-B agents were Domingo Rotoni, a 45-year old chairman of Barangay Lico in Cajidioca, Romblon who is listed as a ‘high-value’ drug target. Mayor said Rotoni was arrested by combined operatives of the PRO4-B and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency during a raid in his house authorized by Judge Edwin Buffe of the Magdiwang-San Fernando Municipal Circuit Trial Court for violation of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Seized from the suspect’s possession were 47 live 9mm ammunition, 15 caliber .45 bullets and 13 plastic sachets containing suspected shabu.
Another was Edwin Daganta, 47, a real estate agent from Puloy, Liberty, Bgy. Bagong Sikat, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan who has been ranked as the no. 2 most wanted drug personality in Puerto Princesa City. Daganta was arrested during a buy-bust operation conducted by combined personnel of the Puerto Princesa City Police Office’s Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group and the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group inside his residence.
Seized from the suspect’s possession were a marked P1,000 bill and P500 bill paid to him by the undercover officer as well as a heat-sealed plastic sachet with a market value of P2,000.
The former PNP spokesman said his men also arrested the no. 4 most wanted person in El Nido, Palawan identified as Gregorio Florida, a 41-year old farmer wanted for statutory rape. The suspect was arrested by local policemen headed by Senior Inspector Bronson Caramto on the strength of a warrant of arrest for two counts of statutory rape issued by Judge Jocelyn Dilig.
Other most wanted suspects already sent behind bars by the MIMAROPA police were seven from Mindoro Oriental, two from Palawan, four from Puerto Princesa City and one from Marinduque. The suspects were wanted for rape, adultery, frustrated homicide, robbery, grave coercion and theft.
Mayor said that since July 1, he has also ordered the relief of 14 chiefs of police in Mimaropa region due to their low performance on the campaign against illegal drugs.
He said of the 14, two were municipal police chiefs (Bulalacao and Mansalay) in Mindoro Oriental; three from Mindoro Occidental (Paluan, Lubang and Looc municipal police stations); one from Marinduque (Mogpog); three from Romblon (Concepcion, Corcuera and Banton MPS); three from Palawan (Dumaran, Araceli and Agutaya MPS); and the chief of the Irawan Police Station in Puerto Princesa City.
PRO4-B has jurisdiction over the provinces of Mindoro Oriental, Mindoro Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan.